By Dr. Ajay Data, chair of the UASG; founder and CEO of XgenPlus
I am invigorated after returning from ICANN66, which took place in Montréal 2-7 November. Always full of information and engagement, this event was particularly exciting as we had many Universal Acceptance (UA)-focused sessions with strong attendee turnout and discussion. A notable change this year was the updated meeting format, which more specifically featured UASG efforts – UA sessions were woven into the meeting’s main agenda and were organized by specific UA working groups, as outlined below.
UA Sessions and Presentations at ICANN66
We hosted four UA-related sessions and working meetings featuring updates on activities and progress in creating a more inclusive Internet (full list and links to the presentations below). Notably, the Local Initiatives Working Group session highlighted all of the UA activities taking place around the world. UASG and ICANN are working closely with local communities to organize regional initiatives to address UA readiness of domain names and email addresses. This presentation focused on efforts in India, Eastern Europe / Central Asia, Africa, Middle East and China, but progress is being made in every corner of the world. The next steps for this group will be focused on finalizing and launching local initiative plans in coordination with UASG leadership and ICANN, as well as developing regular quarterly reports on activities and momentum. View the full local initiatives presentation and activity updates.
Additionally, the Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) initiated a new working group focused on Universal Acceptance. Rahul Gosain, GAC representative from India, will chair the group. To date, many countries have joined, and I was able to meet with members representing Argentina, Egypt, India and Turkey.
I also had the opportunity to update the At-Large Advisory Committee (ALAC), which is helping to spread the message on the importance of Universal Acceptance, and spent time with the ICANN66 Fellows during a daily fellowship session.
Finally, outside of our sessions, I spent some time staffing our UASG booth which allowed me to speak directly with the event attendees about the importance of UA. Manal Ismail, GAC chair, and leadership of the Latin American and Caribbean Islands Regional At-Large Organization (LACRALO) stopped by the booth, among many others. This not only showed support toward UA but also allowed us to exchange ideas on how to broaden UA initiatives.
Thank you to the working groups that presented their ongoing efforts and go-forward plans, the Governmental Advisory Committee, and to everyone supporting the initiative to further UA. For those who were not able to attend each UA session, presentations and materials can be accessed below:
- Universal Acceptance Technology and EAI Working Groups
- Universal Acceptance Ambassadors and Measurement Working Group Meeting
- Universal Acceptance Coordination Group Workshop
- Local Initiatives and Universal Acceptance Communications Working Groups
How to Get Involved
ICANN meetings are great for being able to focus on these important issues and engage with others (check out photos here); however, they are not the only way people can get involved. We are a virtual team of people who welcome participation from those who are passionate about the Internet and all that it can do for organizations, business and people of the world. There are a number of ways you can get involved with the UASG including:
- Sign up for general UA-related updates, here
- Join UA working groups, here
- For general information, email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Find more details about UASG at uasg.tech
The UASG has developed UA-readiness information for developers and IT leaders, all of which can be found on the UASG website, such as the Universal Acceptance Quick Guide and UA Fact Sheet. Further, anyone can check to see if their mail server supports receiving email addresses in different scripts by using this UASG EAI widget. You’re also encouraged to report UA problems found in applications or webpages by logging the issue with the Global Support Center.